Office of Undergraduate Research

Sourcing In and Out: The Competitive Position of Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs from Milwaukee

The recent media and political attention on outsourcing from the U.S. keeps hitting a raw nerve of those who fear unwelcome wage and employment effects at home. With this project I plan on undertaking field-work with an aim to distinguish the "hypes" from the "facts" by documenting "in-sourcing" and "outsourcing" activities at a disaggregated (industry) level based on surveys of the small and medium scale entrepreneurs (from the local community) with a successful record in conducting business overseas.The final goal of this project is to put together and analyze a unique and reliable data-set on "sourcing in and out" that will be valuable to the small and medium scale entrepreneurs of Milwaukee as well as academic researchers.The process of transnational production sharing encompasses a variety of dimensions, including the outsourcing of various components and business services in arms-length relations, the establishment of foreign subsidiaries to undertake activities such as assembly and marketing, the entry into long-term and possibly exclusive licensing agreements, and the establishment of joint ventures for production and marketing. I will design survey questionnaires, encompassing these dimensions, addressed to the small and medium scale entrepreneurs (from the local community) with a successful record in conducting business overseas. The first step will be to put together a unique and reliable data-set on "sourcing in and out" and then analyze the data for emerging patterns

Tasks and responsibilities:

1. Interview representatives from the small and medium scale entrepreneurs (from the local community) with a successful record in conducting business overseas

2. Enter information on a database.